Published: 06:00, 24 June 2021
Gillingham manager Steve Evans says he is offered players from Europe every day.
There’s plenty of overseas lads looking for a route into English football.
But Evans is reluctant to take risks on players he hasn’t seen in the flesh and will continue to do all his transfer business domestically.
“Every day,” replied Evans when asked if he is offered players from the continent.
But he added: “I think I would rather stay with players that we know.
“You go down the route of looking at players on video clips.
“I could show you clips of players not good enough for League 1, who are probably League 2 or Conference players, but I could get my analyst here to break that down and make him look a world-beater and you’d want to sign him.
“Experience tells me there’ll always be one or two who perhaps come over and, bingo, they deliver for you, but my main focus has been on lads I’ve watched at first hand.
“We can’t get caught gambling on the season ahead when League 1 has the power of clubs and the size of clubs and the size of the resources available to some of them.”
Evans continues to work hard on new recruits and is enjoying the challenge of unearthing a few gems.
He said: “We have to find the ones that perhaps not everyone’s looking at the way they should be.
“There’s not many clubs in the marketplace to sign Jordan Graham last year, there’s not many clubs in the marketplace to sign Vadaine Oliver, Kyle Dempsey. These guys became absolute stars.
“Stuart O’Keefe’s been absolutely awesome outside his injury for two seasons here. I didn’t see many people jumping to get him yet when they come here and do so well, people clamour to get them.
“So we have to find those little jewels that perhaps people have overlooked or have favoured someone else and then build a team together and work really hard in pre-season and be ready for what I think is the sternest of challenges ever in League 1.”